The spectacular Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing was in production for three years.
There was no doubt that Mercedes-Benz had a hit on their hands with their spectacular 300 SL Gullwing.
The car’s looks, performance, and brilliant engineering captivated the automotive world, and it proved to be a runaway success for Mercedes-Benz.
After production ended on the iconic Gullwing Coupe, the marque was eager to add a convertible version to its lineup.
A prototype of the 300SL Roadster, SL (the initials stood for ‘Sport Leicht’ meaning Sport Light) was first spotted in the summer of 1956 at Stuttgart, by the German magazine Auto, Motor und Sport, while the production model would later debut at the 1957 Geneva Motor Show.
By the end of that year, the final 70 of the 1,400 Coupes and the first 618 of the 300 SL Roadsters were assembled.
Just like the Coupe, the 300 SL Roadster proved to be the vehicle of choice for those with brilliant taste in aesthetics and cutting-edge engineering.
As such, many wound up in the garages of celebrities, racing drivers, and other financially successful individuals.
With a list price of $11,000, ownership of a 300 SL Roadster was a dream to most when the car was new, but to those with the funds to spare, the car was worth every penny. To those looking to make a statement with the purchase of a new car, there was simply no better option available for purchase in 1957.
Sophia Loren, Tony Curtis, Clark Gable: these are just a few of the famous owners of this steek sport car.
Production ended in February 1963.
By this time, 1858 examples of the 300 SL Roadster had been completed (all of which were left-hand drive).
This example is one of just 554 produced in 1957, the first production year.
ABOUT THIS SPECIFIC EXAMPLE
This Mercedes 300SL Roadster was completed at the Stuttgart-based Mercedes-Benz plant in 1957, during the first year of production of the model, as a US market car.
This stylish Mercedes-Benz was shipped off to the United States via Studebaker Packard, who were Mercedes-Benz agents, and was delivered on the 9th of October 1957, fitted with sealed-beam headlights, Becker Mexico radio, and the optional lower-than-standard rear axle ratio.
This 300 SL Roadster was originally delivered clothed in a gorgeous shade of Mercedes-Benz Silver (DB 180) with a Blue leather interior.
In approximately 2019/2020 the new owner decided to give this 300SL a new look and had it repainted to Black.
The US history starts on the 7th April 1970 with a letter from Stephen Muethe stating he has just purchased the car from Leland J Dysart.
It would seem that Mr. Dysart was of Eau Gallie, Florida, as he had advertised a 300 SL there in the well-known magazine Road and Track late in 1969.
The new owner, Mr Muethe, resident of Dallas, Texas, soon commenced a restoration upon the car, as evidenced by the letters and bills on file.
Initially, these letters detail a very precise restoration of the car, assessing each aspect of the work required, which he completed in 1972.
It appears that Mr. Muethe sold the 300 SL by 1974, as there is a letter to a Mr. Romans, from the New Jersey chapter of the Gullwing Group inviting him to be a member, and at some point after that it moved north and for a time was owned by Donald A. Luster, based on Chicago’s prestigious N. Michigan Avenue in 1976.
The Mercedes was later bought in the USA by a Norwegian owner on 28th of April 1988.
When the car arrived in Norway in April 1988, its owner entered the recorded mileage of 6,030 in his personal logbook (on file).
In 2006 he records the mileage as 12,350, representing a total of 6,320 miles covered in 18 years!
The Mercedes remained in long term ownership in Norway, during that time the car was subject to some restoration work at London Mercedes dealership Rose & Young Ltd.
The Mercedes remained in Norway until 2014 changing hands then to join an important Danish collection.
In May 2018 the car was sent to Stuttgart to be reviewed by Mercedes-Classic for a technical report. They have confirmed that the 300 SL retains original bulkhead chassis plate, matching numbers engine, original front and rear axles, gearbox and bodywork, noting that the left front does show evidence of accident repair and that the steering box while also an original Mercedes unit appears to have been re-stamped with the number that the car would originally have had.
The overall condition of the car is very good, as one would expect from its careful ownership over the years.
The body details such as the subtle curves but also the fittings of the doors, boot and bonnet are nice.
The chrome parts on the car show a nice patina. This is not an over restored example but a very nice and honest car.
The paint on the car has a nice deep shine.
The interior is the most modern for that time, comfortable and elegant.
The interior shows like the exterior a beautiful patina.
The leather is very nice with some small signs of use.
Period correct materials have been used resulting in a beautiful interior.
All knobs, switches and meters are in perfectly working order.
To sit in this 300 SL Roadster and look around is absolutely fantastic because there are so many small details which ask for attention.
The 300SL can accommodate a driver of almost any height.
The coupes are reputedly not as comfortable as the roadsters, due to poor ventilation.
It’s a perfect autumn driving day, crisp and clear and just warm enough to put the top down.
Once started, the the high compression Sonderteile engine emits an evocative yet subdued growl, and is supremely flexible on the road.
The 300SL is in our opinion a quiet car at any speed, until and unless you rev the engine past 4000 rpm. At that point, the six cylinders become amazingly loud, with a machine-gun note from the mechanical injection.
The handling of this 300 SL is excellent.
The presence of a generously sized luggage compartment simply invite one to travel.
The 300 SL Roadtser is a true ‘gentleman’s car’ in every sense of the phrase, thanks to its elegant styling that surrounded the luxurious interior.
The car runs and drives superbly, reminding the driver why the 300SL is such a legendary car, as well as how impressive the car must have been when new.
The gearbox is excellent with slick and precise operation that gives an impression of robustness that does not exist in an Italian gearbox of the same period.
It’s a car which is suitable for sportive trips like a rally or longer distance trips like a holiday.
The rarity and timeless charm of this Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster is sure to provide many years of enjoyment to its new owner.
For more information or an appointment, please call Rutger Houtkamp+31625098150 or send an e-mail to Rutger@Houtkamp.nl. Please do not hesitate to contact us by phone during evenings or in the weekend.
The Houtkamp Collection is centrally located near Amsterdam and only 10 minutes from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.